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Is Netflix Seeing UltraViolet?

18 May, 2012 By: Stephanie Prange

The recent financial industry discussion with the CFO of Netflix shed some light on what the subscription service may be focusing on as it moves into the streaming future. I think it may be seeing competition from UltraViolet, the cloud-based license storage service backed by most of the major studios.

Netflix significantly is not a member of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), the consortium of more than 70 members that support UltraViolet. Suddenly, as UltraViolet has had a successful launch in Walmart stores and has racked up 2 million accounts, Netflix CFO David Wells told an investor group the company plans later this year to roll out a subscription plan enabling multiple users within a household to stream content on different devices.

Wells said the upcoming subscription offering with an as-yet undefined price is the result of a growing number of users accessing Netflix from one account at the same time.

Hmmm …

Could that be a response to UltraViolet’s ability to let consumers have up to six household members per account able to access content on up to 12 different devices?

As I have said previously, ownership is a very efficient way to get consumers the movies they want — without making them pay for a bunch of titles (via licensing deals with Netflix) that they don’t ever want to see.

In this recent call, Netflix is making it clear that even within households, different members like different content and want to watch it on different devices — sometimes at the same time as another member in the household.

What model serves consumers’ desire to both watch the content they want and also watch it on the device (TV, tablet, mobile phone) they want — regardless of what other members of their “account” are watching at the same time?

I think UltraViolet may be giving Netflix some headaches in that competition.

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